If you’ve read our previous blog posts, you’ll already know that mobile radiation and its impact on human health is one of our priorities. Each mobile phone has a specific absorbtion rate (SAR) value but how you can check it on your device? When we talk on a mobile phone, we are exposed to a particular amount of electromagnetic radiation. It is generated mainly by the transmission of signals between the mobile phone and the mobile base station.
SAR shows how much of the radiation which is coming from a phone is absorbed by our tissue. It’s better if the SAR value of your mobile phone is low. The maximum level allowed by the FCC is 1.6 watts per one kilogram of bodyweight. In Europe, the SAR limit recommended by the Council of the European Union is 2.0 W/kg.
If you want to know what the SAR value of your phone is, there are few ways to find out. You can choose which one is the most convenient for you.
1. On a website that collects the SAR values of different mobile phones
You can enter the name of your mobile phone model followed by a phrase such as ‘SAR value’ into a search engine and you will easily get the SAR value of your device. If you want to check it on the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) website, you need to know the grantee code and the product code of your mobile phone.
These are assigned to all devices; you can find them on the inside of your phone’s casing but you might have to remove the battery pack to read the numbers. Some mobile phones don’t have a removable battery pack but in that case, the codes are often printed on the back of the phone or in the user manual. Once you find this information, you should visit their website and follow the instructions.
If you already know your mobile phone model, you can check its specifications on this site. It is sufficient just to type the name of your device and the information should appear. If you are interested in different models, there is an easy to access table here.
Interesting options are available on sites with different mobile phone specifications. When you put your smartphone model into a search engine and check it for a SAR value, you will find a comparison to different models. You will be able to discover which devices have a lower or higher SAR value than your own. It’s easy to compare your mobile phone with the phones of your friends and family.
2. On the website of a mobile phone manufacturer
Each manufacturer has information on their website about the safety of their devices. You should be able to find it in the support section or on a specific subpage about RF health. If you are not sure which model of mobile phone you have, you should remove the battery, as the phone type or serial number is usually printed on a white label inside the device. If your battery is not removable, the numbers will be printed in the user manual.
If you have a different smartphone than those listed above, you can (as previously stated) use a search engine such as Google, adding SAR value (e.g. ‘Samsung Galaxy 8 SAR value’), and information will pop up. Ensure you check it on a reliable website, preferably a manufacturer’s website.
3. In a mobile phone's user guide
Sometimes, the information about SAR values is in the user guides so you can search for it there. If you didn’t keep the manual which came with your device, it is easy to find it online (usually in .PDF form) to download on your computer. If you’re not sure how to find it, just type the name of your mobile phone model followed by ‘user manual PDF’ into a search engine and you should see the results you’re looking for. Every device should follow the international standard of SAR measurement so you will probably find sufficient information about your device meeting those criteria.
4. In a mobile phone’s settings
Information about the SAR value of your device is also available directly on your smartphone. When you go to the settings of your device, you should be able to find it in ‘general’ or ‘about phone’ section. It depends on the type of mobile phone you have. For example, for iPhones, you should go to ‘Settings’, ‘General’, ‘Legal’ and ‘RF exposure’.
5. By dialling a USSD code
A USSD code, sometimes known as a ‘quick code’ is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers.
By using a code such as *#07# you can check the radiation level or SAR value of your smartphone. You just type the code on your phone keypad and press the call button. That is the easiest way of checking SAR value but it is not available on every device. Results should show a SAR value of below 1.6 watts per kilogram (or 2.0 W/kg if you are in Europe), otherwise, it is advisable to change your smartphone immediately.
You should remember that the numbers are different for some countries. In the USA, the maximum value is 1.6 but in the European Union, it is 2.0. Check it twice before you draw conclusions. Every smartphone on the market should meet international standards of SAR value so there is almost no chance you’ve bought a mobile phone which doesn’t meet those standards. However, the SAR value of some devices can be extremely high when compared with different models. If you want to know which mobile phones have the highest and lowest SAR values, read our article here.
It is important to choose a mobile phone with the lowest possible SAR value. In order to limit your exposure, there’s some additional advice you should follow. If the signal strength is low, try to avoid making calls. Find a better location, the best ones are outdoors or close to the windows when you are inside of the building. Moreover, you should keep your calls short or choose to text if possible. The best way to be protected from exposure to radiation is to use a headset while making calls.
Putting your phone directly next to your ear (especially during calls longer than 15 minutes) is not safe because you expose your head to decreased levels of radiation. That is why manufacturers advise keeping a mobile phone at a distance from a head or body. It is written in user manuals that you should use your device at least 1 centimetre away from the ear while talking. Apart from the fact that hard;y anyone uses a mobile phone that way, the information is issued because that is the distance in which SAR level is measured. Obviously, if the SAR would be measured in real conditions, in direct contact with the body, its level would be higher than the manufacturers claim.
Knowing the SAR value of your phone is essential when it comes to reasonable mobile phone use. We are constantly exposed to radiation so it is better to choose safer and healthier options whenever possible.
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